Islamabad: An additional district & sessions judge (ADSJ) of Islamabad has issued a notice for June 9 to the deputy director of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cybercrime Cell upon receiving an application filed by the president of the district unit of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), seeking registration of a criminal case against American blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie.
Advocate Shakeel Abbasi filed the application before ADSJ Jahangir Awan under Section 22-A of the Criminal Procedure Code, under which, the court may direct the investigation agency to register an FIR. The complainant stated that Ritchie had made extremely derogatory and slanderous remarks about former Pakistan prime minister and PPP leader late Benazir Bhutto through her Twitter handle/account.
The United States blogger has been at the centre of a raging controversy since Friday when she levelled charges of rape against Pakistan’s former interior minister Rehman Malik and accusations of molestation against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and former federal health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin.
However, unfazed by the PPP leadership’s move to take legal action against her for levelling what they termed as “baseless” charges of rape and molestation, Ritchie said she was ready to face them in any court of law and expressed confidence that she would get justice.
“Absolutely! As I said before, I’m ready for a court. All the documents, voice notes, filthy images and rape threats from PPP, the data scientists who’ve assisted in putting together this nexus of harassment. I hope PPP is ready for my suit,” Ritchie said in a tweet. https://twitter.com/CynthiaDRitchie/status/1269291844011204608
She shared what she claimed to be details of the fateful night in 2011 when she visited Malik’s house.
“Ask him if he remembers what I wore & what he said when he was on top of me. Bc I DO,” Ritchie said in her Twitter post. https://twitter.com/CynthiaDRitchie/status/1269187155731066881
‘Culture of rape must stop’
Ritchie in her post claims that there is a culture of sexual abuse in Pakistan and men take pleasure in fantasizing about their sexual conquests. “What happened to me is a pattern of sexual abuse or power projection. Abuse of power is common among the elites of Pakistan — and this is across the board among both genders,” she tweeted.
In her tweet, she calls for an end to the “culture of rape” in Pakistan. “The rape culture must stop. Women must work together to educate children re: what’s not ok & defend themselves against predators.” https://twitter.com/CynthiaDRitchie/status/1269111463827976194
Where are ‘Aurat March’ supporters?
The US blogger and journalist has questioned the silence of the champions of women rights, particularly, the leadership and members of Aurat March.
“Why aren’t #AuratMarch supporters at least inquiring as to why another woman claims she’s been raped by government officials? Why are you trying to suppress my voice?” asked Ritchie in her tweet, tagging one of the vocal advocates of women rights in Pakistan, Beena Sarwar. “Why do your certain twitter accounts block me if they don’t wish for an open dialogue?” Ritchie asked. “Her remarks being false, untrue, defaming and slanderous as they are, have caused immense pain and agony to millions across Pakistan, who revere and hold Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in high esteem,” the PPP petition said.
“Your office is requested to take immediate action and initiate proceedings against this woman [Ritchie] as prescribed by the law and under your mandate,” the PPP plea lodged with the ADSJ added.